Cannabis 2016: Year in Review
2016 is almost gone.
It was a huge (and possibly the greatest) year for cannabis. Let’s take a minute and look what happened:
1. Legalization Marching Across The Country
Nationwide support to end prohibition reached the all-time high. First, Ohio and Pennsylvania passed effective medical marijuana programs. In November, people massively said ‘yes’ to recreational and medical ballots throughout the country. California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada voted for recreational marijuana, while Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota brought medical cannabis ballots. It created eight new markets approximately worth $7 billion.
Nation’s total of medical marijuana states reached the historically high number of 28. Yay!
2. Marijuana Users and Suppliers Protected
In August, the three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously prohibited Justice Department from using publicly acquired money to interfere with states recreational or medical marijuana laws and prosecute individuals who provided cannabis to patients.
3. Science For the Win
Marijuana research remains restricted on the federal level, but scientists continue to publish important studies, including those that indicate cannabis as safe and therapeutically beneficial. Research shows that marijuana can be used for treating symptoms of mental health, epilepsy, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Cannabis is also essential in battle with opioid dependency and contributes to decreased traffic fatalities.
4. DEA Won’t Give Up
In August, the DEA decided not to reschedule cannabis and leave it classified as a Schedule I substance. In December, the DEA included CBD-oils in the list of controlled substances once again making hundreds of CBD-products illegal.
5. Donald Trump is the President-elect
We are forced to remind you that our nation elected Donald Trump as the President. His picks for Cabinet (Jeff Sessions, for example) make it harder to hope for the stable and bright cannabis future. We shall see.
6. Canada to Legalize
Canadian officials released their long-awaited report on cannabis and recommended an immediate legalization. The process is expected to start in early 2017. Let’s see what will happen!
What to expect in the upcoming year?
1. Los Angeles Become The Marijuana Capital
More money would flow in Los Angeles, attracting investors to the growing recreational market (just imagine that medical marijuana market alone brings to $1 billion in LA. Keeping that in mind, how attractive the recreational market would be?).
2. A Sports League Will Support Marijuana
It is a question of time, who’s going to make a move first – NFL or NBA. Many professional athletes have been using cannabis for pain management for a long time. With medical marijuana legal in 28 states, players step up against ridiculous league’s policy.
3. The Rise of Craft Marijuana
The market will eventually grow, prices will inevitably fall, products will become commodities. It will make brand building and storytelling necessary. More and more growers will try to present their product in a unique way to attract loyal customers.
4. More Shows About Cannabis
Shows about marijuana help to educate people and end the stigma. Since Showtime presented Weeds, there hadn’t been a primetime TV-show based on cannabis. However, the taboo is gradually disappearing, opening audience to new and exciting stories. Let’s see what Netflix and Amazon have up their sleeves.
5. More activism
With Trump as the President and active DEA’s resistance, more activists will stand up and fight for their rights. Join the movement and help to end prohibition.